Bhagat grew up in West Delhi, and got his school education in The Army Public School. His father was in the Indian army and mother worked in a government job. His Class X school examination percentage was 76% and Class XII percentage was 85%.Bhagat received a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in 1995. He then went on to do an PGP from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and graduated in 1997.
Bhagat worked for Goldman Sachs at their Hong Kong office as an investment banker for nearly a decade and wrote Five Point Someone while in Hong Kong. He then moved to Mumbai to focus full-time on his writing career while working at Deutsche Bank.